Fernando Botero is one of the most famous living artists, known for depicting figures in a voluminous format known as ‘Boterismo’. His work can have social or political intentions, as well as humorous aspects. His subject matter usually includes scenes of daily life. 

 

“An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why,” he reflected. “You adopt a position intuitively, only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.” 

 

His paintings, drawings and sculptures are represented in many of the leading museums of the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museo Botero in Bogota which is dedicated to the artist and his oeuvre. 

 

He originally trained as a bullfighter in his native Colombia. His first artworks were of bullfighting scens and were sold by a man trading in tickets to bullfights. He then created illustrations for a local newspaper and the money from these allowed him to study art. In the 1950s he moved to Madrid to study. He studied the Old Masters in Paris and Madrid and Florence. It is said that his ‘eureka’ moment came in 1956 when living in Mexicom City, and when he painted a mandolin with an unusually tiny hole and exaggerated proportions. This led to his style being defined by exaggerated volume. 

 

Botero is an avid art collector and he donated more than 300 works to various museums. He is passionate about his country and there are roads and piazzas named after him. His sculptures have made almost $3 million at auction and his paintings over $2 million.